Glad I’m Dad
At our house, Father’s Day has always been one of those holidays that sneak up on us. That’s because, somewhat like that kid we all knew in school whose birthday happened around Christmas every year, both my and my youngest son’s birthdays are always right smack dab on or near Father’s Day. My father-in-law’s birthday is one week before and a favorite niece’s birthday is the day before mine. Throw in miscellaneous mid-June graduations, weddings and subsequent anniversaries and you’ve got the makings for a very busy, overscheduled month.
Nevertheless, I do have many outstanding Father’s Day memories.
For example, one of the all-time best Father’s Day gifts I’ve ever received is hanging on the wall above my desk as I write this. It’s a simple, framed certificate awarded to me 26 years ago by my dear wife and our two kidlets soon after we officially became a blended family. The certificate was written and signed by my wife and our then 4-year old son and daughter (one of hers, one of mine). Even though the precious signatures on it have long since faded away with age, to this day I tear up when I read the wonderfully uplifting and affirming things it says, like, “In appreciation of: The countless bedtime stories read complete with sound effects even if this is the fifth time in five nights we’ve picked a particular story.” What I wouldn’t give for the opportunity to do that sort of thing with those kids again. And again.
Another cherished Father’s Day memory is the whacky home video the same above-mentioned group made for me years ago while I was traveling down under in Australia on business. The video featured them singing, dancing and shouting out Father’s Day greetings. It was hilarious and touching and moving all at once. To return home and watch the video they’d made while I was so far away was simply priceless. Nothing bought from Brookstone or Bass Pro (aka: “Man-Land” around our house) could have topped it.
That said, I’m definitely not one to turn down gifts of any type or size. Especially presents like the new, bright yellow chainsaw my two younger boys pooled their own money to buy for me at Home Depot one Father’s Day a few years ago. I mean, seriously … does it get any more awesomely manly and testosterone-drenched than to receive a chainsaw as a gift from your two sons? Not hardly.
Father’s Day has been more than a little bittersweet for me since my own dad passed away nine years ago this month. To say that he was not the most sentimental of men would be like saying a block of ice is cold and hard. I always had the impression that he’d have been perfectly happy if Father’s Day, Christmas, anniversaries, even his own birthday could somehow come and go without a single person acknowledging the occasion. How very sad.
Maybe the capacity to feel and express emotions can skip generations, like recessive hairlines and blue eyes. If that’s so, I must have gotten what should have been my Dad’s portion of sentimentality in addition to my own. Just ask my family.
I’m all too often an emotional train wreck looking for a place to happen – which, actually, can be a good thing when planning special occasions. That’s because it really doesn’t take much more than a hug and a heartfelt card or a phone call from far away family (sorry, but text messages and e-cards don’t count) to make my eyes flood as predictably and profusely as a backed up toilet with overnight guests on the way.
However, I do have my eye on a lovely turbocharged hedge trimmer with LED work lights and self-leveling laser guidance system. No, wait. The newly redesigned, super thin Macbook Pro would make a truly epic Father’s Day for me. In case anyone asks.
I’ll see you ’round town.